Rumour mill noise about Manchester United’s interest in Vitoria Guimaraes midfielder Bernard Mensah has been steadily on the rise in recent weeks.
Juventus, Inter Milan, Monaco, Valencia and West Ham have also been credited with an interest during a season that has seen the youngster’s stock rise rapidly.
The Metro reported United to be working on a £7.2m deal for Mensah on February the 8th and the player himself has now confirmed contact has been made with his club, telling Ghanaian Allsports:
‘It is true that Manchester United want me.
‘I have not spoken with anyone at Manchester United but I know that there are negotiations with my club.’
He is a hefty 6/1 to be a sign for United by the close of the next transfer window, but, with super agent Jorge Mendes now owing 35% of his value, the chances of the player staying put should not be overestimated.
The question is, what kind of operator is the 20-year-old that has attracted the interest of one of the world’s foremost agents and several its top clubs?
Mensah has earned comparisons with Yaya Toure that are arguably not as lazy as they might be given he is a west African who plays in midfield.
He scores goals, with 11 during 28 appearances for the Vitoria youth side last term precipitating his promotion to the first team for 2014/15.
Having found the net on his debut Mensah then upped the ante with a brace next time out, and scored his fourth of the campaign against Porto two matches later.
Like Toure he seems to be at most effective when eating up the ground between the half-way line and the opposition penalty area with the ball at his feet.
Five assists in the Primeira Liga are testament to his eye for a pass too and he regularly spreads the play to the wings with long, weighted deliveries.
Disconcertingly the goals had dried up completely after his explosive introduction up until his most recent outing against Nacional.
However, Mensah’s continuing importance for manager Rui Vitoria is evidenced by the fact that he has continued to get 90 minutes more often than not as 2014/15 has progressed.